Churro fleece is on its way from the Navajo reservation thanks to my friend in Phoenix! It was quite an adventure – she’s braver than me – I would not have the guts to set out on a journey like that. What an incredible person – we have been friends since 1984 – she emigrated to US in 1999 and is now a cardiac nurse in Phoenix…I haven’t seen her for seven years but it makes no difference…she has my utmost respect and I love her dearly. This is an extract from her email – she took some super pics
“I got the wool! Thought things were going to be a bit hairy travel wise because of heavy rains forecast, but not too bad up there, even saw some sun when I got to Winslow.
Then we went on up to the rim road track for 0700, drove about 3 miles in and pulled well off the road so we could have a nice peaceful 2 or 3 hours in the pines. Set off back to the 87 at 1000 and guess what? A socking great big tree had fallen across the road since I arrived. No wonder I never heard another vehicle, LOL…. It was 2 feet in diameter at least and had fallen across the whole track (pic enclosed). The track was narrow there and cut on the side of a ravine, so had a steep bank at one side and a drop on the other. No way to get past as it was about 4ft high. Had to reverse uphill and round bends for 300+ yards to be able to turn.
Mercifully had bought a new map 2 days ago so found another way out back to the 87on the Potato Lake road, otherwise might have had to drive the length of the Rim Road to get out. Thank God no one with a trailer was behind me when I found the obstruction… that would have been interesting!
I stopped at the ranger station up the road and reported it, so hopefully no one coming the other way is stranded.
Loads of wild flowers blooming like crazy, in the woods and at the side of the road, just beautiful to see, even in the rain, although it was just showers by now, but humid as all get out, even up on the top at 7000 feet.
After collecting the wool decided to travel back down the 99 and cut into the eastern end of the rim road. Guess what? Discovered a very well kept secret. There’s a beautiful swimming boating, fishing hole a couple of miles down the 99. It’s called Clear Creek reservoir, lovely cool clear water, lots of ramadas but no one else in sight. Dogs went swimming and I joined them. The air temp was 83, the water was cool but not cold. Fabulous.
Had a little difficulty finding exactly where to turn when I got to the end of the 99 and onto (mostly unmarked!) forest roads, but with the map. a car compass and a couple of conversations with the Wherethefuckarewe Bird we found the Canyon Lake road and followed it to the 300. By now it was tipping down and the wet dogs were steaming up the windows something awful which didn’t help. The rain stopped as we came out to the edge of the rim and the views in clear air were spectacular.
On the way back from Payson there were some heavy showers around and it was raining over parts of the Mazatzal Wilderness Mountains, ethereal curtains of grey blue and ribbons of white fog drifting against an evening sky with shafts of sunlight breaking through. Breathtaking. The rain had cleared out as I neared Phoenix, but streaks of cloud in the west as I came over the last hills turned everything red, gold, purple and orange. The sky on looked as if it were on fire, really iconic AZ with black saguaro cactus silhouettes on the roadside to set it off. By the way, all the cactus are as fat as can be, think they’ll burst if it rains any more!